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Last Updated : Apr 10, 2020 10:24 PM IST | Source: PTI

Railways ask cement companies to unload goods from freight trains to free up rakes for essential items

With the railways having waived off its demurrage and wharfage charges, companies do not lose any money by not offloading their goods, officials said.

Representative Image
Representative Image

The Railways has asked cement companies to offload their goods from freight trains so that they can be used to supply essential commodities to different parts of the country, source said on Monday.

With the lockdown in place, the national transporter is using about 50-60 rakes per day to ferry food grains but there is demand for more, the sources said.

Around 300 goods trains full of cement bags are lying idle because cement companies are in no hurry to unload them as the construction business has come to a standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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With the railways having waived off its demurrage and wharfage charges, companies do not lose any money by not offloading their goods, officials said.

¨These rakes with covered wagons are just lying there full of cement. Due to the lack of availability of labour, there is no construction work happening in the country, so cement companies are in no hurry to unload.

¨We have told them that if they do not unload their goods in a couple of days, we will reinstate the charges for keeping our wagons waiting,¨ the official said.

Demurrage charges are levied for the detention of any rolling stock after the expiry of free time, if any, allowed for such detention. Wharfage is the charge levied on goods for not removing them from the railway after the expiry of the free time for such removal.

The Railways had waived off these charges during the lockdown period.

Officials said that given the huge demand for essential commodities across the country and with the movement of goods through roadways virtually negligible, it was essential to free up these trains to ferry essentials like fruits, vegetables, food grains, salt and sugar.

Sources said that the Railways is also in touch with state authorities to ensure that their goods trains are offloaded on time.

Sources said that the national transporter is facing a similar problem with goods trains carrying steel as there are no labourers to unload them.

During the 13-day period between March 23 and April 4, the Railways loaded and carried 1,342 wagons of sugar, 958 wagons of salt and 378 wagons/tanks of edible oil (one wagon contains 58-60 tonne consignment), according to the Railways.

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First Published on Apr 6, 2020 08:18 pm
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